”I will bring back the Spanish philosophy”
October 12, 2018
INTERVIEW – The new coach in Veszprém, David Davis, has a clear vision how the ambitious club will become successful again, by re-implementing a handball philosophy, his Spanish countrymen, Carlos Ortega and Xavi Sabaté, introduced first when they were sitting on the bench.
However, he is well aware that adjustments will be made one step at a time, as he explains in this exclusive interview with stregspiller.com.
By Peter Bruun
It did not come as a big surprise when David Davis was appointed new head coach in Telekom Veszprém HC after the dismissal of Swedish, Ljubomir Vranjes, a couple of weeks ago.
Most of the pundits expected the former left wing of the Spanish national team as the front runner to take the job – and he did not hesitate, when presented with the hottest seat in men’s handball.
”I assume that the head coach position in Veszprém is a dream job for any coach, so when Veszprém called, I simply could not say no,” says the 41-year-old. In Veszprém, he signed a contract for the rest of this season with the option of one more year.
To no surprise he wants revitalize some Spanish tactics in Veszprém, methods players were used to when Carlos Ortega and Xavi Sabaté ran the show from the sidelines.
Ljubomir Vranjes tried to introduce his own “Scandinavian” style but it didn’t work in the time he had and club management cut the engagement short. Now, Veszprém will revert back to a familiar system and in attack we can expect more one-on-one or two-on-two situations, a more active use of the line player combined with an aggressive defense.
Yet, Davis knows that even though most of the players may have been used to the Spanish style in the past, it always takes time to change a team´s way of play.
“Changes in the middle of the season are never welcomed by any player, so I will simply try to adapt my system to the team step by step and see how it works out.
“That’s all I can do at this time.
Davis leaves no doubt that he is a firm believer in the Spanish handball philosophy and he sees it as a great advantage that two of his recent predecessors were Spaniards.
“Yes, that’s a big plus, because more than half of the team is used to playing this system. It will be only a matter of time for them to adjust to it again.
“In my view, one good aspect about the Spanish system is that the quality players will adapt to the system quickly, and that is what makes it so useful,” he explains
Knowing the club inside out
The assistant of Davis is also influenced by the Spanish way of thinking handball. Former Veszprém left back and Cuban born, Carlos Perez, will be Davis´ new wing-man.
“It’s very convenient.
“Actually, I am honored to work with Carlos, who is a legend here in Veszprém, simply put.
“His enormous experience as a former player in the Champions League, obviously also comes in handy and furthermore, we have the advantage that we both speak Spanish, which makes it very easy for us to communicate.”
But will a plain and simple system reset achieve the success, Ljubomir Vranjes could not deliver?
“I don’t know what Ljubomir Vranjes did or didn’t do, as I was not here at the time, so I cannot comment on it.
“Actually, I don’t really like the question, as I don’t want to compare myself to other coaches.
He cannot deny having inherited one of Vranjes´ problems, however – a large squad.
The team has already been reduced by one player – left back and defense specialist, Patrik Ligetvári, has been loaned out to Spanish Ademar Leon – but there are still many players in Veszprém to choose from.
“If you have more players than you need, it’s obvious that there cannot be equal court time for everyone.
“It will be a challenge to develop a program that will keep everybody happy, but I am sure we will manage.
“Of course, it will be difficult, but we simply have to make it work,” says Davis, who is working as Egypt’s national handball coach aside of his new job in Hungary.
Pressure is everywhere
Not only is Veszprém one of the most ambitious handball clubs in Europe, expectations of fans and local media are just as big.
“It’s motivating, no doubt!
“I am sure any coach would want to lead a team that can reach the FINAL4 of the Champions League every year. That’s what Veszprém is and working with such a squad is great motivation in itself.
“Of course, with expectations comes a burden, but that’s something you have to deal with, especially as a coach.
“In my opinion, pressure is always there, no matter if you are coaching a good team or a bad team; expectations to win and to achieve results will be present for any coach.
“All the work you do every day is expected to produce results – win the games you compete in. If you do not win, you are not doing your job well enough. It’s that simple.
“So, yes, the pressure is here, but it certainly is not the main issue for me,” claims David Davis.